Your Health

Helping with isolation: Local hearing services company giving away hearing aids

Pacific Hearing Service, a local hearing services company, is giving away two hearing aids as part of a seasonal competition in which residents can nominate people they think would benefit from better hearing.

The company, which is headquartered on First Street in Los Altos, launched the competition Nov. 1 and the application page will be open through the end of the month. The winners will be invited for a comprehensive hearing assessment and a personalized fitting.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to some people realizing they have hearing loss because of the use of facemasks. Researchers have also found that the coronavirus can lead to sudden hearing loss.

“People are even more isolated than normal,” said audiologist Debbie Clark, co-owner of Pacific Hearing Service. “Hearing loss isolates people. When they can’t hear their friends, they can’t hear their family, they’re cut off. Now they’re cut off even more because of COVID. I thought it would be a nice way to reach out to those people who might be feeling a little bit alone.”

The company has a nonprofit, Pacific Hearing Connection, that does humanitarian work to help those in other parts of the world with hearing loss. According to Clark, many people suffer from hearing loss and don’t do anything about it. Some are afraid of the stigma. Others don’t realize they have it or believe they can get by without a hearing aid.

“It’s a mindset,” she said. “They’re concerned about a stigma or something. We want to break through that and encourage people to live the best way they can live. When you’re set off, you’re not living your best life. We want to help people live their best life.”

To nominate someone for a free hearing aid, visit pacific-hearingservice.com/competition. Nominations must be submitted by Nov. 30.

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